PUTRAJAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar (pix) has advised individuals or pilgrims to set the right niat (intentions) when visiting the Holy Land to ensure that their sole purpose is for worship.

He said that intentions beyond that might affect the act of worship and could also harm the country's reputation.

“I am worried that if there are other intentions, like wanting to showcase silat and so on, it will distract us from the original intention of performing ibadah.

“My advice to those intending to visit Masjidil Haram or Nabawi Mosque to correct their intentions, let’s concentrate on worship,” he told reporters after flagging off participants of the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) Run 2024-Powered by Zakat Collection Centre (PPZ) programme here today.

He said this in response to a viral video of a man and two boys performing silat in traditional Malay attire at Nabawi Mosque in Madinah.

The incident has garnered various reactions online, with some stating that the action was inappropriate and uncivilised and impacted Malaysia’s reputation.

Mohd Na’im, however, said that he does not see the incident affecting the quota of 31,600 pilgrims for Malaysia this haj season allocated by the Saudi Arabian government.

Regarding the data cleansing process for zakat recipients, he said that the existing MAIWP data would be integrated with the Central Database Hub (PADU) system to ensure assistance is only channelled to eligible individuals. -Bernama

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